Stab Magazine | Sharks Won't Stop Biting Surfers On NSW's North Coast

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Sharks Won’t Stop Biting Surfers On NSW’s North Coast

It’s madness. 

news // Oct 25, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

When will this stop? On New South Wales’ northern beaches, it seems like we’re reporting an attack a week. Across the globe it feels like two or three per week. Which isn’t an accurate depiction of the amount of shark attack stories that stream through our feed, but they’re so common that they’ve become desensitising (especially those of the non-fatal nature). It’s sadly similar to news of another shooting in America–their shock value is starting to fade.

Yesterday morning, in Byron Bay between Suffolk Park and Broken Head a 36-year-old surfer suffered a bite to his thigh and surfboard. Luckily the board took the brunt of the chomp. As a result, he only experienced a few puncture wounds to his thigh. He was discharged from the hospital after being treated for minor wounds. The greater area of Byron Bay was put on a 24-hour closure, and according to the Guardian, soon after the attack a three-metre great white was spotted nearby Wategos Beach. It is unclear if it was the shark responsible.

Shark bite

Well, this is just about the best possible outcome. A couple scars, no serious damage and one hell of a story. 

Due to the commonality of shark attacks in Ballina/Byron Bay the state government has introduced a shark net bill. The introduction of the nets has been a topic of controversy due to fear of damaging other marine life. On Sunday, hundreds of people gathered at Ballina to protest the planned installation of the shark nets.

“Making sure the north coast is a priority for this (shark net) trial is what we are concentrating on,” Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair told the Guardian. “We do have nets between Newcastle and Wollongong and they have proved successful. That’s why we are extending that to a trial on the north coast for six months.”

There’s a large populous of the NSW region opposing the nets, including the Byron Shire Mayor, Councillor Simon Richardson, who told ABC Australia, “I don’t think [shark nets are] for Byron, but we can all wait and see if there’s a huge community outcry for it.” With desire for a solution to the shark problem that doesn’t put additional marine life in jeopardy at a high, the only thing for certain is–after three attacks just this month–out of sight out of mind is a thing of the past, and sharks are a genuine concern.


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